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Old 6th November 2008, 02:46 PM   #1
cebolla
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Default hasta que sin el subjuntivo?

ola todos!

Tengo una frase que utiliza "hasta que" y no va seguido del subjuntivo.

yo creo que no las tienes claras hasta que no las usas.


y el contexto: "claras" se refiere a relaciones entre familiares.

Qué quiere decir esta frase y qué pasa con hasta que?!

una cosita más...ya tengo una libreta en que coloco frases que me cuestan mucho, y bueno, si hay alguien que me quiera ayudar con esas frases me gustaría mucho. (porque no quiero hacer demasiados "threads". sería inadecuado, verdaa?)
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Old 6th November 2008, 03:20 PM   #2
Beckett
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hasta que + subjunctive refers to a future action.

hasta que + indicative refers to the past, the present or an action that is routine or a habit or is something which is generally true.

(hasta que + imp. subj. can be used in the past with estilo directo.)

Regarding your sentence, I'll let somebody else take a crack at that. But I believe that your sentence is an example of something that is generally true in family situations, not rooted to the past, present or future, so that's why the indicative is used and not the subjunctive.

P.S. Also, you may get faster and more numerous responses to your queries about Spanish grammar usage over at WordReference.com.

Last edited by Beckett; 6th November 2008 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 6th November 2008, 03:49 PM   #3
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I asked about this for you and the answer that I got is that the phrase needs some more context than just " family relations" . Their initial responses were " what are they certain about ?" , " what do they use?" I think that with some more context/more of the text I could get it translated for you, but as it is it could mean a million different things.

The best I could do was this explanation in Spanish regarding " tener claro"......

"la persona que no tiene dudas sobre algo , lo tiene claro"

"whoever doesn't have doubts about something , is certain about it/knows exactly what they want"

Hope this helps!!!

Ps. I asked 3 different native Spanish speakers.

PPs. Email me the list and I will see what I can do (I think that my Email is on my profile page , if not send me a private message and I will give it to you)

Last edited by delgado; 6th November 2008 at 04:43 PM. Reason: added PPS
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Old 6th November 2008, 10:38 PM   #4
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People have some funny (widespread) ideas about the subjunctive. You just use it when you can't (or don't want) to declare things. That's the main rule for subjunctive.

In "hasta que", you use indicative if you declare what follows, but that is only possible if it has happened before, or it is happening now.

You use the subjunctive with "hasta que" when you can't declare what follows; namely, when something hasn't happened yet. This arbitrary rules you normally get about indicative and subjunctive when you get this or that, are easily justified if you use the "declaration" criterion.


yo creo que no las tienes claras hasta que no las usas.

If you use the present tense ("tienes") here is because you can make statements about things you take for granted (regarding what you have), and therefore, you can declare it. Subjunctive here would make little sense.
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Old 7th November 2008, 10:50 AM   #5
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Lazaras' rule for the subjunctive:

You just use [the subjunctive] when you can't (or don't want) to declare things.

¡Fenomenal! My grammar book uses 42 pages explaining it (most of which I don't understand) -I like this rule much better.

...er, the only thing is, what do you mean by 'make a declaration'? -is that a grammatical term, I didn't get it from your examples.
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Old 7th November 2008, 11:56 AM   #6
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I agree - that has to be one of the best ways of describing how/when to use the subjunctive that I have ever seen.

I think Lazarus means that 'making a declaration' is just stating ("indicating") facts about the world ("yesterday I went to work", "that car is blue", etc), hence you use the indicative. Whereas 'not making a declaration' is talking about stuff hypothetically, or stuff that you want to happen or stuff that might happen in the future, etc.

A teacher once told me that the clue is in the name. You use the subjunctive when you are being subjective in the sense that you are communicating your personal thoughts, concepts, ideas, wishes, hopes, fears, doubts, etc (stuff that is in your head). While you use the indicative to talk about stuff that is out there in the world.

Last edited by Legazpi; 7th November 2008 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 7th November 2008, 11:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tad View Post

...er, the only thing is, what do you mean by 'make a declaration'? -is that a grammatical term, I didn't get it from your examples.
The technical term is assertion. Terrell and Hooper first proposed a correlation between assertion and choice of mood. The match, however, is not perfect and there has been a lot of subsequent research done in this area to try to reconcile the exceptions. For example, Lunn applied models from relevance theory to demonstrate a relation between mood and information value. And Mejías-Bikandi revisited Terrell and Hooper's correlation with a modified notion of assertion that takes into account the speaker's intent (i.e. pragmatic assertion). Jary also presented a relevance-theoretic account of mood distribution in which he posits that the indicative can, but is not necessarily, used to put forward a proposition as being 'relevant in its own right', but the subjunctive cannot.

Traditionally speaking, assertion and presupposition are mutually exclusive. Presupposed information is the common ground between speaker and listener, i.e. what is or can be assumed to be already known by the listener. Pragmatic assertion is independent of presupposition and relates to not only those propositions that the speaker knows to be true but also those that he intends to portray as being true or that he believes that someone else views as being true. This latter facet is based on the notion of nested Mental Spaces (Fauconnier). A mental space is essentially someone's view of reality. A nested mental space is someone's view of reality containing their perception of other people's views of reality.


T. Terrell, J. Hooper, “A Semantically Based Analysis of Mood in Spanish”, Hispania (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese), 57(3), 484-494, September 1974.

P. V. Lunn, “Spanish mood and the prototype of assertability”, Linguistics 27, 687–702, 1989.

E. Mejías-Bikandi, “Assertion and Speaker’s Intention: A Pragmatically Based Account of Mood in Spanish”, Hispania (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese), 77(4), 892–902, December 1994. http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/serv...0014.htm#I_25_

M. Jary, “Mood in relevance theory: a re-analysis focusing on the Spanish subjunctive”, UCL Working Papers in Linguistics, 16, (London: University College London, 2004). http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/publicatio...apers/jary.pdf

G. Fauconnier, Mental SpacesAspects of Meaning Construction in Natural Language, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), 1985.
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Old 8th November 2008, 08:53 AM   #8
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If you can get your head round that learning Spanish should be real easy
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Old 8th November 2008, 10:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastephen View Post
Terrell and Hooper first proposed a correlation between assertion and choice of mood...
Graham, if I may paraphrase Eddie Murphy from Beverley Hills Cop: "Get the flip outta here!"
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Old 8th November 2008, 11:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tad View Post
Graham, if I may paraphrase [...]
Yes, of course you may

But actually, I'd say that reading the Mejías-Bikandi article would be worth the pain. Here's the abstract:

Quote:
Abstract: This article reexamines Terrell and Hooper's claim that the indicative is the mood of assertion and the subjunctive is the mood of non-assertion. It discusses the counterexamples to this claim and proposes an alternative analysis based on a pragmatic definition of the notion of assertion and within the semantic framework of Mental Spaces (Fauconnier 1985). Under this analysis, the indicative mood is used in a complement clause when the intention of the speaker is to indicate that the information expressed in that clause is contained in the domain that represents some individual's view of reality. The discussion shows that this analysis does not face the empirical difficulties that Terrell and Hooper's analysis and other previous analyses faced and, consequently, argues that understanding the pragmatic context of an utterance is crucial to characterize the distribution of mood in Spanish.
and here's another short extract from the introduction:

Quote:
This article argues for the validity of Terrell and Hooper's initial generalization and shows that the apparent counterexamples arise from an ill-conceived notion of assertion. Following Grice, Austin and Strawson, among others, (17) will regard the notion of communication-intention as crucial to understanding assertion. Thus, whether a proposition is asserted or not depends, not so much on whether that proposition is true or false, but on what are the intentions of the speaker when s/he decides to present the information expressed by the proposition to a particular audience. Under this view, a speaker asserts a proposition P when the speaker intends the audience to believe that the speaker holds the belief expressed by P. I propose to elaborate this notion of assertion in the following way: a speaker asserts a proposition P when the intention of the speaker is to indicate that P describes the world as s/he or some other individual perceives it. When it is not the intention of the speaker to indicate that P represents some individual's view of the world, the speaker will not assert P. (18) To the extent that this definition of assertion makes crucial use of the notion of speaker's intention, it is pragmatic [893] in nature. In this sense, the analysis developed here offers a pragmatic account of the distribution of mood in Spanish. (19) Under the proposed analysis, cases that are apparently problematic no longer constitute exceptions to Terrell and Hooper's initial generalization. In addition, I will review other alternative analyses that have been proposed to account for the distribution of mood in complement clauses and show that these alternative analyses run into empirical difficulties, difficulties that are not faced by the analysis presented here.
The section in bold above gives in a nutshell his notion of (pragmatic) assertion. I think this best sums up what has previously been said here about 'declaring' a statement.

Last edited by gastephen; 8th November 2008 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 8th November 2008, 02:45 PM   #11
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References in an internet forum post! Dios mio. I applaud you! Thanks for the explanation

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Old 9th November 2008, 01:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tad View Post
¡Fenomenal! My grammar book uses 42 pages explaining it (most of which I don't understand) -I like this rule much better.
I have over 2000 pages about the subjunctive, if you include all the books on my bookshelf, and I used to believe in the list-all-the-structures approach, until I saw this very simple and effective rule, and I haven't found any single problem with it since.

The works of Terrell and Hooper mentioned by gastephen played a very important role in the development of this new approach, actually. It is worth checking the works of Bull as well, but those important pioneering works have been greatly improved, and in my opinion, the best explanations are those from José Plácido Ruiz Campillo.

I admit that using "declaration" doesn't really help, unless you are explained what we mean by it, but it doesn't take that long, really. Whereas a declaration or an assertion might imply that you have no doubts about something, the idea is not how certain you are about it, but whether you want others to know what you know, you think, or you guess; no certainty from the speaker is implied here at all: you can assert or guess something. If anyone has a word for that, I'll gladly replace "declaration" with that word.

The Errapel Mejías-Bikandi's article suggested by gastephen takes advantage of this terminology problem by trying to prove how wrong this approach is, not realising that a "declaración" does not mean certainty, but the intention to express your ideas, whether you are certain about them, or not. Here is where people start making mistakes about the subjunctive.

Again, assertion is not the right word:

Creo que es posible.

Here, there is a "declaración", but there is no assertion. You to express your guess about how likely something is, but the fact that you want others to know it doesn't imply that you are convinced about it.

Does anyone need examples?

Last edited by lazarus1907; 9th November 2008 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 9th November 2008, 10:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazarus1907 View Post
....Whereas a declaration or an assertion might imply that you have no doubts about something, the idea is not how certain you are about it, but whether you want others to know what you know, you think, or you guess; no certainty from the speaker is implied here at all: you can assert or guess something. If anyone has a word for that, I'll gladly replace "declaration" with that word.

....

Again, assertion is not the right word:

....
How about "conviction" ? You can say something with conviction, even if it later turns out to be wrong.
Interesting thread gals & guys.
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Old 9th November 2008, 11:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazarus1907 View Post

Again, assertion is not the right word:

Creo que es posible.

Here, there is a "declaración", but there is no assertion. You to express your guess about how likely something is, but the fact that you want others to know it doesn't imply that you are convinced about it.
Here's my interpretation of this. (But please do feel free to disagree and give any counter-arguments, as this is something I am interested in learning more about.)

Creo que es posible = Creo que P

where P is the proposition "es posible". If I think that, then P belongs to the set of propositions that describe reality as I perceive it. By making the statement 'Creo que P', then I am intending to indicate that this describes the world as some individual (in this case myself) perceives it. Doesn't this therefore fit in with the definition of pragmatic assertion given earlier?

In this case, the uncertainty is contained with the proposition, not within whether or not it belongs to my view of reality.

If, on the other hand, I say

Dudo que sea posible

then I am saying that I have doubts about whether or not P is true.

BTW, Lazarus, do you have any references to the work of José Plácido Ruiz Campillo that you mentioned?

Thanks.
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Old 9th November 2008, 12:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazarus1907 View Post
I have over 2000 pages about the subjunctive, if you include all the books on my bookshelf, and I used to believe in the list-all-the-structures approach, until I saw this very simple and effective rule, and I haven't found any single problem with it since.
On a slightly different note - another area that seems traditionally to be treated with long lists of instances and exceptions is the distinction between ser and estar. What are your thoughts on Serrano and Serrano's book that puts forward replacing all that by the simple rule of 'whatness' v 'howness'? (I found that very enlightening.)

Cheers.
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Old 9th November 2008, 01:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by greytop View Post
How about "conviction" ? You can say something with conviction, even if it later turns out to be wrong.
Interesting thread gals & guys.
You don't have to be convinced. It can be a guess that you say even while you shrug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gastephen View Post
If, on the other hand, I say

Dudo que sea posible

then I am saying that I have doubts about whether or not P is true.
I don't think that having doubts is enough to determine the choice of mood. The key is the intention of the speaker to inform other of his beliefs or thoughts:

No estoy seguro, pero creo que vienen mañana.

Here the speaker is saying that he is not sure at all (he has doubts), but still he still informs other of his "uncertain" guess about them coming.

For Ruiz Campillo you have:

Gramática básica del estudiante español (coautor) - best grammar I've ever seen for foreigners
Fundamentos de una gramática operativa (tesis)

Articles:
El concepto de no-declaración como valor del subjuntivo
El subjuntivo es lógico - una actividad de concienciación

Quote:
Originally Posted by gastephen View Post
On a slightly different note - another area that seems traditionally to be treated with long lists of instances and exceptions is the distinction between ser and estar. What are your thoughts on Serrano and Serrano's book that puts forward replacing all that by the simple rule of 'whatness' v 'howness'? (I found that very enlightening.)
I haven't read that one, but I also use a simple rule for ser and estar, with a very short list of peculiarities (rather than exceptions) due to the way Spanish speakers perceive (or used to perceive) the reality. The verb ser classifies, identifies or defines; estar is used for situations, i.e. localization, states...

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Old 9th November 2008, 03:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazarus1907 View Post
I don't think that having doubts is enough to determine the choice of mood. The key is the intention of the speaker to inform other of his beliefs or thoughts:

No estoy seguro, pero creo que vienen mañana.

Here the speaker is saying that he is not sure at all (he has doubts), but still he still informs other of his "uncertain" guess about them coming.

What would your account be about the speaker's intent to inform / level of doubt in the speaker's mind / choice of mood for the following?

1. No estoy seguro, pero creo que no vienen mañana.

2. No estory seguro, pero no creo que vengan mañana.

3. Dudo que vengan mañana.

and

4. Creo que vienen mañana.

5. No creo que no vengan mañana.

6. Dudo que no vengan mañana.

I may be getting this wrong, but to me creer is a verb of belief, and, even if prefixed by some statement of doubt, that by using it you are indicating that whatever follows in a subordinate clause forms part of your view of reality.

It does seem confusing though that you can apparently (I say 'apparently' as I'm aware that I could easily be missing some subtleties) express the exact same notion in a variety of different ways but, to be grammatically correct, have to use the indicative for some but the subjunctive for others.

And thanks for the references!

With regards to the Serrano & Serrano book, I found it to make a lot of sense and just wish that at the beginning I had had it explained to me in those terms, rather than being given the apparently oft-used, but misleading 'temporary v permanent' red herring of a rule of thumb. I also, for example, liked their account of the explanation of why ser is used with the location of events (i.e. that it is really an elliptical passive construction), as this is something I had long wondered about.
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Old 9th November 2008, 04:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
1. No estoy seguro, pero creo que no vienen mañana.
The speaker wants to inform of his belief or guess, even if he is not totally convinced: "no vienen mañana". He could also say "No vienen mañana, creo" because "No vienen mañana" is intended to be "declarado" regardless of the rest.
Quote:
2. No estory seguro, pero no creo que vengan mañana.
The speaker doesn't want to "declare" that "vienen mañana", because he does not believe it. If he had used indicative, we would be willing to inform that they are coming tomorrow, but he would be saying that he doesn't believe it at the same time. A sentence like "Vienen mañana, no creo" doesn't make sense, so there is no "declaración".
Quote:
3. Dudo que vengan mañana.
"Dudar" means not to believe some information, so it doesn't make sense to "declarar" what you believe and say that you don't believe it at the same time. He is just using the phrase "vienen mañana" to construct a sentence, but he uses subjunctive to avoid declaring it as a personal belief or guess. A sentence like "Vienen mañana, dudo" is absurd.
Quote:
4. Creo que vienen mañana.
Already explained.
Quote:
5. No creo que no vengan mañana.
The speaker is not "declarando" that "No vienen mañana" because he actually believes that they are coming tomorrow. He is just using the phrase "no vienen mañana" to construct a sentence, but he uses subjunctive to avoid declaring it as a personal belief or guess.
Quote:
6. Dudo que no vengan mañana.
Same as before.
Quote:
I may be getting this wrong, but to me creer is a verb of belief, and, even if prefixed by some statement of doubt, that by using it you are indicating that whatever follows in a subordinate clause forms part of your view of reality.
If you say "I don't believe that the Earth is flat", you are talking about what your beliefs, but you are not stating that "it is flat", even though at the end of your sentence you are saying "...the Earth is flat". In Spanish, if you say "...la Tierra es plana", you mean it, regardless of the beginning of the sentence, so "No creo que la Tierra es plana" would be a contradiction, but if you are just saying this phrase inside a sentence to make some sort of comment, but without meaning to say it, you use subjunctive: "...la Tierra sea plana": "No creo que la Tierra sea plana", "Es imposible la Tierra sea plana".

What people find difficult to understand with all this, is that the "declaración" has to do with the verb in indicative/subjunctive, and not with the main verb of the sentence. In "Creo que vienen" you are "declarando" that "(ellos) vienen", regardless of that "creo", and in "No creo que vengan" you are not "declarando" that "(ellos) vienen), regardless of that "No creo". What happens is that when you say "Creo...", you clearly want to "declarar" something, but if you say "No creo...", what follows is not what you want to "declarar".

Does it make sense?

Last edited by lazarus1907; 9th November 2008 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 9th November 2008, 07:12 PM   #19
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Many thanks for your comments on that lazarus!

Yes, it does make sense.

As far as I can tell then, declaración would seem to coincide with the notion of intent to inform that something complies with someone's perception of reality.

I guess that the fact that, in terms of logic, the equivalence of statements:

I believe that (NOT x)
I don't believe that (x)

is really just una pista falsa, and that, as you say, the question of mood applies to the basic proposition, appearing as a sub unit of larger construction, and which may, or may not be negated.
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Old 9th November 2008, 07:28 PM   #20
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This rule easily explains sentences like these:

No cree que lo han traicionado.
No cree que lo hayan traicionado.

Both sentences are correct, but in the first one, even though the other guy doesn't believe it, the speaker willingly informs about this fact with indicative. In the second sentence, this "declaración" is omitted for whichever the reason, but most likely because having been betrayed is a known fact among those in the conversation, so there is no need to explicitly state it as a separate fact. Sometimes subjunctive is used because the speaker prefers to remain neutral and keep his views to himself. Subjunctive here is the most common option.
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